NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -- According to police, a Midtown Metro officer tested positive for the virus after not coming to work Tuesday. This comes as concerns grow around the country for first responders' ability to be tested quicker.

Metro Nashville police officers are going out on patrol as usual, according to MNPD officials. That means officers could come in contact with people that could carry the COVID-19 virus.

Police said the Metro officer who tested positive does not know where he got it. News4 is told the officer did not feel well, did not go to work and was able to get tested for coronavirus after displaying symptoms.

"We want to make sure if anyone has any symptoms we prioritize them to get tested," said Michael Caldwell, Director of Metro Nashville Public Health.

Metro Public Health says they're working to test people with symptoms quickly.

"The number of testing kits are limited and the CDC is prioritizing that as well as our health system to assure that we can test those who are on the front lines," said Caldwell.

There's a growing concern from police forces around the country after more and more officers test positive for the virus in parts of New England, Virginia, Texas and California.

Metro Nashville PD said officers are advised to go to their doctors if they do not feel well. Officers are also given person protective equipment including masks and gloves.

The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police echoed the response to News4.

After the the Midtown officer test positive, News4 was told the Midtown Police Precinct and the officer's two patrol vehicles were cleaned and disinfected. The officer is recovering at home after mild and manageable symptoms.

Metro Public Health says they're doing everything they can to keep the people on the front lines safe, including medical workers.

"We’re going to do everything we can to make sure they are tested and are protected to help take care of us," said Caldwell.

MNPD say they are not requiring officers to go into quarantine who may have come in contact with the officer who tested positive.

When News4 asked Metro Police if additional officers were being tested for COVID-19, officials responded they have over 1500 employees and cannot keep track of everyone's doctor's visits.

Police tell News4, none of the officer's co-workers have displayed symptoms of coronavirus at this time.

 

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